Family of Hamilton man missing 2 years offer $25K reward in hopes of finding him
Michael Samdass was last seen in September 2019 in Toronto
The family of a Hamilton man who went missing in downtown Toronto in 2019 are now offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to his whereabouts.
Michael Samdass was last seen by his family on Sept. 3, 2019, when he left his home in the area of Aylmer Crescent and Silvervine Drive in Stoney Creek.
Two days later, Samdass was seen near Yonge Street and Carlton Street in Toronto, but there has been no trace of him since then.
Reisha Dass — Samdass's sister and family spokesperson — said "there hasn't been any sightings, no whispers, no police interaction," since his disappearance.
Dass is hopeful the reward money will encourage anyone with information to come forward.
Dass said the last two years have been extremely difficult for the family.
"We're sad, like every event — we've had births, deaths and you know it's the piece that's missing. Every good and bad experience that we've had in life for the last two-plus years is shadowed by Michael being missing," Dass told CBC News.
"The one thing that scares us the most is if one of our parents dies or one of us dies and we don't know where he is.
"There's been three new births — my sister, myself and my brother all had babies in the last two years that he knows nothing about. We've had family members die that he knows nothing about. It's sad," Dass added.
'We've heard all kinds of rumours'
Dass said there have been rumours Samdass may no longer be alive, but the family is not giving up hope.
"We don't know what the story is, we've heard all kinds of rumours. We've heard rumours that he's dead. We've had lots of friends and acquaintances involved in the whole psychic thing, and 100 per cent of the time they've come back and said the psychic said he's dead," Dass said.
"We're faith-believing people, we're Bible-believing people, so that kind of stuff doesn't really sway us too much. We live by faith and we're more driven by faith than we are of fear so we believe differently.
"Our faith says trust the process so we're hoping that wherever he is he's getting what he needs, he has the right people that are helping him through it and we're praying him through it on this side hoping that ... our paths reconnect."
2 'potential sightings' in recent weeks
In 2020, the family reached out to Please Bring Me Home (PBMH) — an organization that works with families to try to find missing persons across Canada — to help with the search for Samdass.
Beth Perkis, an investigator with PBMH, said there were two "potential sightings" in Toronto in recent weeks, one in the Moss Park area and the other at the St. Felix Centre on Fraser Avenue in the Liberty Village area.
But she said the family believes there is someone in Toronto residing in the Moss Park area who strongly resembles Samdass.
"We aren't positive if the sightings are of Michael or of someone who looks a lot like him," Perkis said.
Perkis said the family hopes that if Samdass is living on the streets of downtown Toronto, with the $25,000 reward, someone who needs the money may come forward.
"If he's living in the homeless community downtown Toronto, it's sort of a last-ditch effort that if somebody does know where Michael is maybe they'll come forward," Perkis told CBC News.
"It's a shot in the dark but … we publicized it for them, getting it out there just to see if any tips do come in to us where we can go try and find Michael."
Hamilton police last issued a missing person bulletin for Samdass in July 2020. At that time, they said they had exhausted all efforts to locate Samdass.
- Six feet, three inches tall.
- Weighs between 160 and 180 pounds.
- Has a tattoo on his upper left arm.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact Det.-Const. Chelsea Knowles by calling 905-546-2917 or Det.-Sgt. Ben Thibodeau at 905-546-2907, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.